THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
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Mississauga News - Sept. 20, 2006 - By Joseph Chin, Staff
Would-be politicians scared to seek election
News reporter predicts no changes on council
With little more than a week left for candidates to register for the Nov. 13 municipal election, the event is shaping up to be another yawner.
That's because all! 10 incumbents, with a combined 151 years in office behind them, are seeking re-election.
It's tough to knock off a sitting councillor or mayor, especially with few issues to galvanize voters, so would-be politicians are being scared away in droves.
So far, there are only 54 challengers, unless others step to the plate before the Sept. 29 filing deadline.
And, the f1eld would be even less crowded were it not for the two new wards, which account for more than half of the candidates registered.
Here's the early line on the races:
Mayor Hazel McCallion faces three candidates, including longtime nemesis Don Barber. The outcome will be the same as always - McCallion will be elected to what is most likely her final term in office.
Ward 1 sees Carmen Corbasson, seeking her fifth term, opposed only by longtime city resident Ursula Keuper-Bennett. That's a bit surprising since the ward possesses a couple of legitimate issues: two gas-fire power plants and a controversial condominium project planned for the area.
In Ward 2, voters will reward Pat Mullin for her two-decades-plus of public service, including an eight-year stint as a trustee for the then-Peel Board of Education. She faces a lone challenger, Brian Hurley.
Maja Prentice could be in for another bruising tussle with Peter Ferreira in Ward 3. In one of the tightest races of 2003, Prentice beat Ferreira by only 1,013 votes. Ferreira is chair of the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, currently embroiled in a funding fight with the provincial government. Whether the controversy will help or hurt his chances remains to be seen.
Fifteen-year incumbent Frank Dale should have no problem holding on to his Ward 4 fiefdom for a sixth term. City Centre residents like his quiet, methodical style.
In Ward 5, Eve Adams faces half-a-dozen challengers, the most by any incumbent. Adams is finishing her first term, so her challengers probably think she can be defeated. Adams is still learning the ropes, but she's a hard worker and popular with her constituents. Look for her to be returned with a bigger plurality this time around.
Ah, Ward 6. This is the one to watch since it involves Carolyn Parrish's comeback to politics. This ward was won handily by George Carlson the last time around, but Carlson has bequeathed Streetsville to his flamboyant friend and moved on to fresher pastures in adjoining Ward 11. Parrish's formidable reputation precedes her: she's a treated like an untouchable, with only six daring to go up against her. Ron Starr, a former councillor, should provide her only real competition.
Look for Nando Iannicca, with six terms under his belt, to win in a cakewalk in Ward 7.
Ditto for Katie Mahoney, who faces three challengers in Ward 8.
Pat Saito shouldn't have any trouble in her burgeoning Ward 9.
Ward 10 is this year's Ward 5. With no sitting councillors in sight, the field is cluttered with 21 candidates --- and counting. Look for longtime school trustee Sue McFadden to be the favourite.
Carlson is running in Ward 11 this time. It's nominally a new ward, but with Carlson in the mix, challengers (only three so far) are understandably shying away.
On the school board front, the prospect of the stipend being boosted from $5,000 to $20,000 (a 400 per cent increase), has attracted a bloated field of 35 candidates.
Registrations will be confirmed by Oct. 2.
You can reach Joseph Chin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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